Date created: April 2010
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Life is like a B-picture script.
Birthdate :November 21, 1967
Country : United States of America
Sign : Sagittarius
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Kirk Douglas Timeline
1912Born Issur Danielovitch to father Jacob Danielovitch, and mother Bryna, from Russia, who came to America in 1912.
1939President Class Of 1939, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York. Graduated with a degree in English.
1942Made his stage debut in 1942.
1949He was originally cast in John Wayne's role in Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), but pulled out in order to make Champion (1949).
1950Gave up his two- to three-pack-a-day cigarette habit in 1950 after his father died from lung cancer at the age of 72.
1952Admitted he made The Big Trees (1952) for nothing just to get out of his contract with Warner Bros. He later said, "It was a terrible movie.".
1953Met his German wife-to-be, Anne Douglas, when she applied for a job as his assistant on the French location shoot for the movie Un acte d'amour (1953).
1953In his last book, "Let's Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving and Learning", he expressed regret at turning down William Holden's Oscar-winning role in Stalag 17 (1953), Stephen Boyd's role in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), and Lee Marvin's Oscar-winning role in Cat Ballou (1965).
1954He and his wife Anne Douglas renewed their wedding vows in California around the 50th anniversary of their 1954 marriage. They reaffirmed their vows before 300 friends and family members at the famous Greystone Estate in Beverly Hills. Guests included Dan Aykroyd, Lauren Bacall, Nancy Davis and Tony Curtis. Douglas walked into the traditional Jewish ceremony to the tune of "I'm In The Mood For Love" and later sang a tune he'd written for the occasion, "Please Stay In Love With Me".
1955In 1955 he was among the first actors to set up his own production company. He called it Bryna, after his mother.
1958If he had not heeded wife Anne Douglas's advice, he would have been on producer Michael Todd's private plane in 1958 when it crashed and killed all onboard. Todd's wife Elizabeth Taylor was also scheduled to be on the plane but canceled to to a bad cold.
1965Turned down two Oscar-winning roles: Lee Marvin's in Cat Ballou (1965) and William Holden's in Stalag 17 (1953).
1967While filming The War Wagon (1967) in September 1966, Douglas enraged his co-star John Wayne by recording a television advertisement for Edmund G. Brown, the Democratic Governor of California, after Wayne had recorded an advertisement for Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.
1970Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1970.
1972Best of friends with Karl Malden (who was also very close with his son Michael Douglas), with whom he co-starred on "The Streets of San Francisco" (1972). After he died, Douglas remarked that their acquaintance was the longest he had with anyone in his life, lasting 70 years.
1975Appeared in a stage production of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and later bought the film rights. He didn't make a movie of it and eventually turned the rights over to his son Michael Douglas, who was able to secure financing and produce the film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
1976He and Burt Lancaster acted together in 7 movies: Victory at Entebbe (1976) (TV), Tough Guys (1986), Seven Days in May (1964), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), I Walk Alone (1948), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and The Devil's Disciple (1959).
1978Grandfather of 7 children: Cameron Douglas (b. 13 December 1978), Dylan Michael Douglas (b. 8 August 2000), Carys Zeta Douglas (b. 20 April 2003) (children of his son Michael Douglas), Kelsey (b. 1992), Tyler (b. 1996), Ryan (b. 2000) and Jason (b. 2003) (children of his son Peter Douglas)
1980Earned $50,000 for saying the only English word at the end of a 1980s Japanese TV commercial: "Coffee".
1980President of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980.
1981Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Jimmy Carter on 17th January 1981. This is the highest US honor a civilian can receive.
1982Was originally cast to play Col. Sam Trautman in First Blood (1982), but walked out on the project. Douglas wanted substantial changes made to the script, specifically that John Rambo die at the hands of Trautman, like the character did in the novel. The writers held their ground and refused. Richard Crenna was eventually cast in the role.
1984Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1984.
1986Had a pacemaker fitted following a heart attack in a restaurant in August 1986.
1991Survived a helicopter crash on 23 February 1991 in which two people were killed. He was left with a debilitating back injury.
1992Attended the premiere of Basic Instinct (1992).
1995Suffered a stroke in 1995 that made it very difficult for him to talk. Speech therapy over the years alleviated the problem greatly.
1996Helped break the Hollywood blacklist by hiring Dalton Trumbo, a member of the "Hollywood Ten", to write the screenplay. Despite widespread criticism from many in the industry, including John Wayne and Hedda Hopper, Douglas refused to back down and Trumbo received a screen credit under his own name. When presenting Douglas with an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement at The 68th Annual Academy Awards (1996) (TV), Steven Spielberg thanked Douglas for his courage.
1997Ranked #53 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list, October 1997.
1999Recipient of American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement award, with screening of 16 his films, Decemer 1999.
2001He was awarded the American National Medal of Arts in 2001 from the National Endowment of the Arts.
2002Received a UCLA Medal of honor 14 June 2002 from the University of California, Los Angeles, during school's graduation ceremony for theater, film and television students. Previous recipients include former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and actors Laurence Olivier and Carol Burnett.
2003Granddaughter Carys Zeta Douglas born April 21, 2003.
2004Confirmed his retirement from acting after making Illusion (2004).
2004Attended the state funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, Gov. with Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on June 11, 2004.
2005He lived in Palm Springs, CA, for more than 40 years. In October 2005 the city honored him by naming a lushly-landscaped drive "Kirk Douglas Way". It winds around part of Palm Springs International Airport. A lavish ceremony and party was given by the Palm Springs International Film Society and International Film Festival and was attended by the actor, his wife Anne Douglas and their three surviving sons. His son Joel, also a Palm Springs resident, was responsible for the campaign.
2005He had both knees replaced in 2005, against the advice of his doctors. The operation was a success.
2006Fell out with his close friend, former President Jimmy Carter, over Carter's 2006 book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid".
6263His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6263 Hollywood Blvd.